LEP funding pot proves popular
A grant scheme to help businesses grow in Leicestershire is set to end after allocating all its money.
The Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership's Regional Growth Fund-backed initiative will close to new applications this Friday (17 October 2014).
It has helped 120 companies since it started in April 2013 providing almost £12.5m in grants to help businesses purchase equipment, carry out building expansions and move to new premises.
The total pipeline of companies requesting a grant will mean all the money in the £21m pot will be allocated by March 2015.
More than 2,300 jobs has been created or saved across the area and a total of £76m invested into the local economy by the grant recipients, according to the LEP.
Kevin Harris, vice-chairman of the LEP and chairman of the RGF grant panel, said: "The sheer number of businesses applying for grants demonstrates a real confidence to invest by the private sector.
"There is an increasing appetite for local growth and expansion among local companies signifying a real positive shift in the economy.
"We don't want to lose this momentum and recognise there is a continued need to give SMEs a helping hand. The success of our RGF scheme is solid evidence to the government that there is a necessity for a similar or extended grant scheme in Leicester and Leicestershire."
He added the LEP was currently working with private sector partners and other LEPs to secure further funding for business growth.
Any business which has already been asked to submit a full application is encouraged to send this as soon as possible as the remaining money in the fund will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis.